Huskies Win 81-76 in Final Men's Basketball Tune-Up

Nov. 8, 2001

SEATTLE - Reserve guard Josh Barnard scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, including seven inside the final 5:16 Thursday to rally Washington to an 81-76 exhibition victory over Western Washington at Bank of America Arena.

An NCAA Division II semifinalist last season, Western Washington led by as many as seven points in the second half at 62-55 with 6:07 left to play. The final Viking lead was 69-67 on a 3-pointer by Darnell Taylor with 3:00 remaining.

Washington answered with eight straight points capped at 0:53 by a 3-pointer from Grant Leep who had missed the second of two free throws seven seconds earlier. That four-point play pushed the UW margin to 75-69.

'The last little series, when they got the rebound of the missed free throw and Leep hit that three, that kind of broke our back,' said WWU coach Brad Jackson.

Five Huskies scored in double figures, including senior center David Dixon who had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Curtis Allen tallied 12 points as did Doug Wrenn who fouled out with 4:15 left in the game. Leep finished with 11 points along with a team-high nine rebounds for the Huskies who posted a slim 40-39 edge on the boards.

'That is everything we wanted out of an exhibition game,' Washington coach Bob Bender said. 'It is so much better for a team to be in a game like this. Playing a team like Western who is coming off a season they had last year and with the veterans they had coming back was a really good situation for us to be in. I was really happy with how we responded.'

Center Mike Palm had 15 points and 12 points to pace the Vikings. Taylor led WWU with 17 points while Diggs pitched In 16 and Nehemiah Campbell 13.

'We saw a lot of things that we will see during the year,' Bender explained. 'We saw that we were in foul trouble and the adjustments we have to make, while some people stepped up and made big plays.'

Barnard hit one of two free throws with two minutes remaining to put UW ahead 71-69. On the ensuing Western possession Campbell was whistled for a charging foul while ramming into Husky freshman Jeffrey Day. The Huskies capitalized on the turnover with Leep's free throw and 3-pointer.

'I saw one thing I was really proud of and that was we finally stood up and took a charge in a big possession, and that was Jeffrey Day,' said Bender. 'I know it is a little thing, but it is huge to this team and I hope we realize how critical that was.'

The Huskies were without the services of freshman guard Erroll Knight who underwent surgery Nov. 2 to repair his left knee. Knight had a loose fragment of cartilage removed from his knee in a successful surgery. He may return as soon as next week for the Huskies' regular-season opener.

Washington begins regular-season play on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Alaska Fairbanks in the first game of the eight-team Top of the World Classic. After playing three games in Alaska, the Huskies return to Seattle for their home opener against Santa Clara on Nov. 24 at 1 p.m.

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